Is the development community still 'working in silos, singing integration?'

Eliya Zulu, executive director at the African Institute for Development Policy, tells Devex what the big question mark is when it comes to integrated development.

There are 17 goals and 169 targets in the SDGs, which have been described like a network — each reliant on the other, therefore encouraging more cross-sector, integrated work.

Everyone understands why this integration makes sense, as well as why it makes sense to enhance synergies between sectors, according to Eliya Zulu, executive director at the African Institute for Development Policy.

“How to get it done is where the big question mark is,” he told Devex.

Governments need to understand that to achieve sustainable socioeconomic development, you can’t focus on one sector. The focus in Africa on developing economic infrastructure as well as on rural electrification, Zulu said, are extremely important for development but will mean little if you forget human capital investments.

But an official at government level responsible for agriculture isn’t suddenly going to start working on health initiatives, so “everyone is working in silos, singing integration,” Zulu said, posing the question of who has the responsibility at the government level to make sure “the critical concept” of integration happens?

Watch the video to find out where Zulu thinks the development community needs to focus more effort in the developing world.

How can an intentional, integrated approach to the design, delivery and evaluation of programs make an enduring difference in people’s lives? Devex, in partnership with FHI 360, aims to advance the global conversation on the promise offered by integrated development solutions through #IntegratedDev. Visit the campaign site and join the conversation using #IntegratedDev

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    Kelli Rogers

    Kelli Rogers is a global development reporter for Devex. Based in Bangkok, she covers disaster and crisis response, innovation, women’s rights, and development trends throughout Asia. Prior to her current post, she covered leadership, careers, and the USAID implementer community from Washington, D.C. Previously, she reported on social and environmental issues from Nairobi, Kenya. Kelli holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Missouri, and has since reported from more than 20 countries.